Hello, Gator Nation, and welcome to Summer B!
As you all finish moving in and tweaking your schedules, I have some important developments to share with you in Student Government.
This past weekend, Saturday, June 25, the Student Body Supreme Court met to discuss amendments to the Student Body constitution dating back to 2008. In this process, they overturned a total of four amendments. These amendments include adding genetic information to the SG non-discrimination policy, numbers of signatures for ballot referendums, online voting and numbers of senate seats.
What the Supreme Court ruled is that since 2008, the Supervisors of Elections have been interpreting election results incorrectly. According to Student Body constitution article VIII, section 4, a proposal by initiative requires “a three-fifths approval vote of those voting in the spring general election.” The Supervisors of Elections incorrectly tabulated the votes, not considering abstention votes. When abstention votes were considered, each of the previously mentioned initiatives failed. Additionally, article VIII, section 5, states, “The text of all amendments and the ballot summary shall be published in a campus-wide print media publication one week before and on both days of the election.” As this did not occur, this section also renders these initiatives unconstitutional.
Particularly troubling for me after the excitement surrounding the Spring election is the reversal of online voting. My running mates and I plan to follow through on our promise to make voting easy and accessible, and I will be working closely with the legislative branch in the coming weeks to move forward with these changes. I look forward to the conversations and debate in Student Senate on how to move forward from here.
For those of you who want to learn more about this decision, I encourage you to reach out to the judicial branch and look for their decision in the week to come.
As always, please feel free to reach out with any comments, questions or concerns. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and go Gators!
Susan Webster is the UF student body president.